(Last Updated on : 23/03/2015)
The Nakhoda Masjid is the principal mosque of Kolkata
in the Chitpore area of the Burrabazar business district in Central Kolkata, at the intersection of Zakariya Street and Rabindra Sarani. The Nakhoda Mosque looks magnificent with its architectural brilliance. Kolkata is a place where people of diverse religion and culture exist and their religious fervor is expressed by various festivals and rituals. The Muslim community exists along with others and The Nakhoda Mosque is an important place of worship for the Muslims. Abdur Rahim Osman, a leader of the Kutchi Memon Jamaat, who funded the building, was a shipping prince. The mosque was named Nakhoda meaning "Mariner". Kutchi Memon Jamaat is a small community of Sunni Muslim
Construction of Nakhoda Mosque
In the past it was a small mosque. Abdur Rahim Osman, a resident of Kutch, founded the mosque in 1926. A board of trustees governs the mosque. The total expense incurred for the construction of the mosque was Rs.15 lakhs. It has been built in the style of Akbar's tomb
at Sikandrabad-an example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The mosque was built as an imitation of the mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Akbar
at Sikandrabad, Agra
Architecture of Nakhoda Mosque
The mosque has become one of the prime tourist attractions of Kolkata, owing to its sheer size and magnificence. The architecture of the mosque has drawn inspiration from the structure of Akbars tomb at Sikandrabad - which is truly a masterpiece of Indo-Saracenic architecture
. The whole mosque was constructed of red sand stone following the tradition of Akbar's Tomb in Sikandrabad Agra. The mosque is dome shaped and has two minarets each about 151ft. high and 25 tiny pillars all around, which are 100ft.-117ft. tall. It has a huge prayer hall that has the capacity to hold up to 10,000 men performing the 'Namaaz' at one time. A prayer hall forms an integral part and is contained in each of the floor of the mosque. Since the Mosque has traces of Mughal architecture, the gateway of the Mosque, is a duplication of the famous Buland Darwaza, which is located at Fatehpur Sikri. For the construction of the mosque, original and superior quality granite stone was brought from Tolepur. The interior of the mosque also boasts excellent ornamentation and creativity. It is extravagant in its artistic portrayal and the style resembles the Indo-Saracenic school of architecture.
Nakhoda Mosque during Festival Time
Muslim festivals install life into the Mosque during the festive seasons of Eid
and Ramzan. The mosque is beautifully decorated during the Muslim festivals or 'parabs' with neon lights and flowers, this also provides for an occasion for Muslims all over Kolkata to unite and offer prayers in harmony. In Muharram
days, the whole area dazzles with a fair-like atmosphere. Attar, sweet fragrant water is available daily outside the mosque, except Sundays.
Conservation of the Nakhoda Mosque
The Nakhoda Mosque is among the heritage sites in India but it has fallen in the group of the endangered monuments. There are many measures taken to restore the glory of the Mosque, in the past few years. Situated in the Chitpore area the mosque has witnessed the changes that have occurred around the place, which was much down trodden and has transformed greatly in the present times. Developments have touched this remote place and here we get a glimpse of newest technology the boon of the civilized life.